Panthers free up cap space by cutting Thomas DeCoud

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday cut veteran free safety Thomas DeCoud, a move that freed space under the salary cap heading into free agency in March.

DeCoud was entering the final year of a two-year deal and scheduled to count $2,165,625 against the 2015 cap. By cutting him prior to June 1, the Panthers saved $1,915,625 in cap space.

That DeCoud was released doesn’t come as a surprise. He had become a liability because of his speed and was replaced for the final four regular-season games and two playoff games by rookie Tre Boston.

The Panthers also made official the signing of offensive lineman Chris Scott to a one-year deal. Because the Panthers signed him to an extension prior to free agency, no other team can make an offer.

For DeCoud, it was the second time he has been cut in as many years. He was cut by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2013 season. Before the 2012 season, Atlanta gave him a five-year, $17.5 million deal.

Carolina signed DeCoud last offseason to fill a need at free safety, where he started 11 games.